Laura Griffin | EXPOSED
Author Guest / June 26, 2013

Writing romantic suspense is an adventure. My heroes and heroines include police detectives, CSIs, DNA experts, and forensic anthropologists like you see on the TV show Bones. The heroine of my new book, EXPOSED, is a forensic photographer. Every time Maddie Callahan grabs her camera and heads off to a crime scene, she is on a mission to help bring criminals to justice. EXPOSED is the latest book in my Tracers series, which focuses on a world-renowned crime lab where an elite group of forensic scientists known as Tracers help police detectives solve their very toughest cases. Maddie loves working at the crime lab and has built a stellar career as a forensic photographer. Her personal, on the other hand, needs help. After a major loss, Maddie has shut herself off from relationships, especially with men. But when she crosses paths with FBI agent Brian Beckman, all bets are off. Brian is determined to get past Maddie’s defenses and gain her trust. When a photograph Maddie took becomes key evidence in a federal investigation, Brian realizes Maddie’s life is in danger because of something she saw through her camera lens. He is intent on protecting her… and also unlocking her…

Diane Alberts | What can happen in ONE NIGHT?
Author Guest / June 23, 2013

ONE NIGHT can change everything. At least that what happens in Diane Alberts’s steamy novella ONE NIGHT. British theater star, Justin Holloway, is about to open in his first Broadway show. He should be stoked. But opening night jitters have gotten the best of him; and if one more person tells him to “break a leg,” he just might break theirs instead. When he pushes out of the theatre and accidentally knocks a woman into the street, he does the first thing that comes to mind—pretends he isn’t the show’s lead and tries to charm her into drinks and dinner. Alexis Verdon is not a fan of musicals. Who really goes around singing grocery lists to the store clerk? Too bad she’s promised her bed-ridden sister she would not only attend the opening night of Broadway’s latest jewel, but also get autographs from the entire cast. As if that isn’t bad enough, on the evening before her great sisterly sacrifice, Alexis is knocked flat on her butt by a handsome Brit who won’t take “no” for an answer and insists on taking her out on of all days, Independence Day (hello, we wanted our independence from Great Britain for a…

Ruth A. Casie | Shazam!
Author Guest / June 22, 2013

Spells and spellcasting. The very first spell I clearly remember is salagadoola mechicka boola bibbidi-bobbidi-boo. Put them together and what do you get? Cinderella! A magic coach, horses, a footman, glass slippers and a beautiful ball gown and let’s not forget the handsome prince. What makes the fairy-godmother’s words a spell? A spell is much like a prayer said with a great deal of intent, focus, and will that gives words (or nonsense ones) new meanings. Deborah Blake, an authority on Wiccans, explains that taking a shower can be a magical event. Your intent or goal is to wash away the stress of the day. You focus on the water pouring down on you and visualize your stress being washed away. Your will is to apply energy to the task. Along with the words she uses to increase the impact of the magick “Water, water, wash away all the stress of the day,” your shower becomes magickal. So, is Cinderella’s fairy-godmother invoking magick? Her fairy-godmother cast her spell speaking an incantation to create a specific outcome. She clearly imagined what she wanted. She intended the magic coach, horse, etc. to all appear. She was keening focused on the results. And…

Mia Marlowe | Writing Assistants
Author Guest / June 20, 2013

There was a time when an author’s only job was to turn out marketable, respectably error-free manuscripts. At least, that’s what they tell me. It may well be an urban myth. Since I was first published in 2006, writers have been expected to wear many hats—publicity maven, internet guru, webmistress, public speaker, Facebook queen and Twitter magnet. Don’t get me started on Pinterest. It should come with a warning to writers who are easily seduced by time-sucks that “Here there be monsters.” Some my author friends have assistants to help them with such things as promo and posting on social networks. One writer I know pays someone to do her research and another has an assistant who specializes in plotting. While I’d never outsource research or plotting, I have to admit it would be a luxury to have someone to deal with the less writerly aspects of my job. However, my writing assistants are incapable of helping me with those things. You see, typing in a tweet requires opposable thumbs. And an IQ higher than 15. My writing assistants are my two dogs—Mack and Harry. They are a pair of puppy mill rejects who found their way into our family,…

Dave Jackson | Moments of Intense Fellowship
Author Guest / June 19, 2013

The characters in Neta Jackson‘s Yada Yada novels are definitely three-dimensional. But sometimes even she doesn’t know who she’s dealing with. Which is what I told my wife about the affable doorman she introduced in her YY House of Hope series. I immediately liked Harry Bentley and asked if I could tell his story while she dealt with Gabby Fairbanks, whose scumbag husband was kicking her out of her penthouse apartment in Harry’s building along Chicago’s beautiful lakefront. It turns out that Harry, who looks a little like Louis Gossett Jr., was a Chicago cop who’d risked his life crossing the “thin blue line” to blow the whistle on his corrupt boss. (Of course, we don’t have any corruption here in Chicago . . . but, hey, this is fiction, so I can do anything I want for a good story.) Harry had been given early retirement to keep him on ice until the trial. But his old boss found out . . . Wait a minute. This is turning into a spoiler. Suffice it to say that Harry’s life got a little complicated, especially when DCFS asked him to take in his ten-year-old grandson—who he didn’t even know he…

Jocelyn Green | Behind the Scenes: The Making of a Book Trailer
Author Guest / June 19, 2013

Publishing and promoting a book is definitely a team effort, and one of the teams whose work I am most fascinated by is the one who created the book trailers for my Civil War historicals, WEDDED TO WAR and WIDOW OF GETTYSBURG. The two trailers are quite different, yet both are compelling. Take a look at the trailers from this page and then read on for an interview with Phil Jacoby, creative producer of Mothlight Creative, the company who made this happen. Jocelyn: Take me through the process of creating a book trailer, from the time you accept the job to completion. Phil: It all depends on the project. We pitched a few directions to the publisher and the decision was made to proceed with the live-action option. Budget and time dictate (to an extent) what is possible in any project so we had to come up with a way to tell the story without overtelling it, lest we run out of time and/or resources. For Wedded to War, for example, from the time the project was approved to delivering the final product was roughly a month or so. Jocelyn: I read on your Web site that the music you used was an…

Theresa Rizzo | Getting’ Your Married On
Author Guest / June 16, 2013

If you grow up in a less than a Leave-it-to Beaver home environment like Catherine and Thomas did without good role models, there are bound to be some adjustment issues. Heck even with good role models, there will be growing pains. Living and melding your life with another person’s is hard—then when you add in the complications of old emotional baggage on either, or both sides, it can really be really challenging and one has to keep a sense of humor and perspective to survive those early years where a couple is feeling their way around, trying to create their own rhythm—hmmm no sexual puns intended. But now that you went there . . . sex does serve to complicate things. Just sayin’. Anyhow, sex aside, trying to live with another person and be a good, roommate, companion, confidant, support, lover, etc. takes work, as Catherine and Thomas found out.  And there are bound to be a bunch of missteps—like Catherine making Thomas enough breakfast for four men, and the eggs that could be used as hockey pucks that Thomas gamely tried to choke them down, while trying not to look at his watch ‘cause he never ate breakfast and…

Fresh Takes from Teen Shelves: Perfect Summer Reads

Summer contemporary reads, chilling thrillers and frothy romance lead off a heavy hitting line-up of most excellent vacation reads. Lots of paranormal, supernatural thrillers, and science fiction adventure round out the field. Enjoy! Contemporary, Triller and Romance (i.e., non-paranormal) THE MOON AND MORE by Sarah Dessen THE MOON AND MORE Dessen’s stories make great reads for summer or any time. Emaline has a perfect boyfriend. She and Luke have been together all through high school. Then in the summer before college she meets sophisticated, exciting Theo, a New Yorker assisting on a documentary film. Emaline begins to think she has bigger dreams than a small beach town can hold, but that means leaving her loving family and community. Emaline wants the moon and more, but how can she balance where she comes from with where she’s going? Contemporary, Romance (June 4; Viking Juvenile)   RULES OF SUMMER by Joanna Philbin RULES OF SUMMER Rory’s summer job might have landed her among the beautiful and rich of East Hampton, but she is strictly “staff.” But Isabel Rule, her employer’s youngest daughter, decides it’s a summer for taking chances, and she’s taking Rory along for the ride. But will Rory’s own summer…

Adrienne Giordano | Moments
Author Guest / June 14, 2013

I think it’s safe to say there are moments for every writer when an idea flashes and we jump on that sucker with the force of a hurricane hitting land. For me, that idea sometimes comes from watching the news or reading a newspaper. Recently, it came from a place I hadn’t expected. Facebook. Yep, I was scrolling through my personal page catching up with my family and friends and spotted a photo album my sister-in-law had posted while vacationing in Italy with my brother, their kids and my mother. One of the photos was of my mother and a cousin she hadn’t met before. I guess I should be honest and say my mother is at a place in life where there are more goodbyes than hellos to people she loves. I imagine this must be hard. This getting older and losing loved-ones. But then there are moments that can only come with having lived a full life. Moments that are randomly captured by my photography obsessed sister-in-law who secretly located one of my mother’s cousins in Italy. While on vacation, my mother had no idea she’d be meeting a family member for the first time. She learned of…

Spotlight on Jodi Thomas
Author Spotlight / June 12, 2013

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Jodi Thomas takes us back to Harmony, Texas, in CAN’T STOP BELIEVING. The sixth book in her popular Harmony series presents a story where big dreams are brewing—and anything and everything is possible… Cord McMillan gave up his freedom at eighteen when he went to jail for a crime he didn’t commit. Now, ten years later, he’s about to give it up again for a piece of land. Nevada Britain, his neighbor, has just made him an offer he can’t refuse: If he’ll marry her, she’ll sign over a section of property that their families have been fighting over for a hundred years. Nevada refuses to ex-plain why, but Cord knows the bargain is in his favor. He just has one condition–she has to sleep in his bed every night as long as their doomed marriage lasts. Nevada only wants to maintain her family’s legacy–and redeem herself for a wrong she did Cord years ago. But as she spends more time with her husband by necessity, she discovers something unexpected–a love so deep it takes her breath away. “Another winner…Fans will be delighted.” -Publishers Weekly (starred review) “Compelling and beautifully written.” -Debbie Macomber,…